2011-10-06 / Front Page

Galante fills Little Silver council vacancy

Former councilman returns to fill unexpired term through 2012
BY KRISTEN DALTON
Staff Writer

LITTLE SILVER — Borough Council members appointed former Councilman Donald Galante to fill the remainder of the council term vacated by Robert Neff, who was appointed mayor to succeed Suzanne Castleman who passed away in July.

“Because of my resignation from the council to be appointed mayor, we have a vacancy on the governing body,” explained Neff at the Sept. 26 council meeting.

Galante was officially sworn in at Borough Hall on Sept. 29 and will fill the remainder of the unexpired term through Dec. 31, 2012.

The Republican County Committee recommended Galante along with Dr. Rick Scott and Dennis Heard for the position in a letter received by the borough on Sept. 15, according to Borough Clerk Helen Gormley.

Just three council members voted in favor of Galante, but it was enough for the motion to pass.

After reviewing the statute, Borough Attorney John O. Bennett III confirmed that a majority vote by the remaining members of the governing body, not including the mayor’s seat, was needed to officially appoint Galante.

“There’s only five [remaining members] so three would pass,” he said.

Council President Daniel Levin and Councilman Daniel J. O’Hern Jr. abstained from the vote without stating reasons.

Galante was elected to council in 2000 and resigned in July 2008 due to an increased travel commitment to Europe and Asia for his job.

“At the time I was working in Manhattan and commuting, and in the end it got a little too much for me, so that’s why I stepped off,” he said in an interview Sept. 29.

His departure didn’t stop him from keeping in touch with council members and expressing interest in returning if there were an opportunity to do so, he said.

“When the situation evolved, it was an opportunity for me to come back with the experience and help out.

“Now that I’m more local, I’m more comfortable,” said Galante, whose business office is now located in town.

He formerly served as chairman of the Fire and First Aid Committee as well as a member on the Board of Health and Newsletter and Library committees.

Galante currently sits on the Recreational Committee but said he wasn’t sure what his new responsibilities would be, although he does have 30 years of experience in the finance industry.

“Going forward, one of the important issues I think is what’s going to happen to Fort Monmouth. I’d like to get involved there and see how that impacts our community as well as, obviously, finances, which I think is an important piece and has been for a long time,” he said.

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